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McShepardSons Irish Ale (previous recipes)

This is the "archive page" for McShepardSons Irish Ale. For the most recent recipe follow this link.


In March of 2022, I decided to design a recipe for a classic Irish Ale. 

An easy-drinking pint, often with subtle flavors. Slightly malty in the balance sometimes with an initial soft toffee or caramel sweetness, a slightly grainy-biscuity palate, and a touch of roasted dryness in the finish. Some versions can emphasize the caramel and sweetness more, while others will favor the grainy palate and roasted dryness.

The first time I brewed it, I did a double batch. I fermented half with a classic English Ale yeast and the other with Voss Kveik Ale.

Subsequent batches used the English Ale yeast.

The name "McShepardSons" comes from a series of geocaches that I hid years ago. Most of them have been Muggled and no longer exist, but I thought it was a good name for an Irish Ale.

For more about the beer (and the Geocaches) see Sheppy's Blog: McShepardSons

McShepardSons Irish Ale --- Batch 1 (308)

StyleIrish Red AleBatch Size11.00 gal
TypeAll GrainBoil Size 13.44 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency 70.00 Boil Time 60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity1.040 SGEstimated FG1.010 SG
Recipe Bitterness24.7 IBUs (Rager)Alcohol by Volume3.9 %
BU : GU 0.617    
Recipe Color11.7 SRM
Measured OG: 1.043  Measured FG: 1.012 kv
ADF: 71 kv
 Measured ABV: 4.1 kv


15.45 galDenver, ColoradoWater1--
8.00 gCalcium Chloride (Mash)Water Agent2--
3.00 gGypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash)Water Agent3--
2.00 gEpsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash)Water Agent4--
1.00 tspLactic Acid (Mash)Water Agent5--
15 lbsPale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)Grain689.6 %1.17 gal
1 lbsBrown Malt (Crisp) (65.0 SRM)Grain76.0 %0.08 gal
8.0 ozCrystal 80L (Proximity) (80.0 SRM)Grain83.0 %0.04 gal
4.0 ozChocolate Malt (Proximity) (350.0 SRM)Grain91.5 %0.02 gal
1.500 ozMagnum [14.40 %] - Boil 30.0 minHop1023.0 IBUs-
2.00 ItemsWhirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)Fining11--
2.00 tspYeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)Other12--
1.000 ozGoldings, East Kent [4.80 %] - Boil 5.0 minHop131.7 IBUs-
1.0 pkgSafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) [23.66 ml]Yeast14--
1.0 pkgVoss Kveik Ale Yeast (Lallemand #- ) [50.28 ml]Yeast15--

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
NameDescriptionStep TemperatureStep Time
Mash InAdd 20.94 qt of water at 163.7 F152.0 F60 min

Batch sparge with 3 steps (Drain mash tun , 5.11gal, 5.11gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
Double batch. Half brewed with each type of yeast.
Prepare mash and sparge water together.
Brewing salts in the mash and sparge water. This should bring Denver water profile (as defined by BeerSmith) to "Balanced Amber"
Acid addition to bring calculated pH around 5.2
Mash and boil as directed above.
Cool to around 65 degrees. Split batch into two fermentors each with different yeast strain.
Ferment for a couple weeks. (a little less for Voss yeast)
Force carbonate to 2.5 volumes. Condition to taste.

Brewing Record

Brew Date: Strike Temp: 
Mash Temps: 
Pre-boil OG (1.035 SG) Pre-boil Vol (13.44 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency Pitch Temp  
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Brewing Notes:
03/17/2022 esheppy
Picked up ingredients at Tom's Brew Shop yesterday. They substituted in some Proximity Malts for my darker malts. It looks like my beer will be just a touch lighter as a result. Gave me an excuse to add in the Proximity Malts into Beer Smith. 
03/20/2022 esheppy
Brew day today went well. Preboil gravity was pretty high, so I cut the boil time by 15 minutes. I ended up at 1.043 OG, which is a little high, but I'm ok with it. Next time I brew this, I can increase the brew house efficiency. Up at 5:30. Pretty much done with clean up before 10am. Letting the English yeast batch cool outside for a couple of hours. 
03/21/2022 esheppy
The Kveik yeast batch started quicker last night, but both are going pretty strong today. I've put a blow-off tube on the Kveik. It doesn't seem to need it yet. Its temperature strip says 68. I have the tilt in the English Ale batch and it says 1.034 at 59 degrees. I put in some foam control in that one. Things seem to be going well so far. 
03/22/2022 esheppy
The Kveik yeast slowed down enough that I took out the blowoff tube. I really think I can keg this soon. The English yeast is still working. Tilt says 1.020 at 66 degrees. Still moving a lot and lots of krausen. 
03/25/2022 esheppy
The tilt says 1.009 at 67. It has been consistent for a couple days now. I think both beers seem done. They are actually looking very clear at this point. Very nice red color. I might keg both this weekend since I have available kegs. 
03/26/2022 esheppy
Kegged the Kveik Voss batch. 1.012 FG. I'm a little surprised it didn't finish lower, but it tastes as I would expect it. Not a lot of residual sweetness, and actually has a fairly dry finish. Maybe a little lemon peal ester. My measured ABV is 4.1% and the Attenuation is 71%. Note the Tilt in the English Ale batch says 1.008 at 67. Usually, I can add 5 to 7 points to my FG on these, so it should be an even lower ABV beer. Nice. 
03/27/2022 esheppy
Drinking a pint of Voss even though carbonation is not quite ready. Color is perfect for a red beer. Just a touch of haze. Pretty clear for the first pour. Aroma has a hint of the lemon pith that I get with the Voss yeast, but not really getting it in the flavor. A little floral and woody. Nice balance. Tiny bit of roast helps dry out the finish. Nice nutty malt flavor. Really like this beer. 
03/31/2022 esheppy
Thursday night. A couple of pints and Untappd check-in. Love the color. Carbonation about perfect. Flavor great. Yummy. #GnomesLikeBeer 
04/03/2022 esheppy
Kegged English Ale batch. Went in clearer than kveik. I think it is a more ruby red. Beer tastes a bit more smooth. Maltier. More Irish Red. Not as bitter. 
04/05/2022 esheppy
Lovely beer. Irish Red much smoother than the kveik version. Nice balance. Great red color. With the low abv... I can drink lots of these. I bet these won't last long. 
04/08/2022 esheppy
Did a comparison between the two. The color is just a bit different. It might just be that the Voss beer has had about a week more to clarify. Flavor is close, but I was able to identify the difference in a "blind" triangle test. The Voss has a bit more lemon ester, and comes across as slightly more bitter. I thought I also detected a touch of sulfur in the aroma. Both are nice beers, but I think I prefer the English Ale. 
04/29/2022 esheppy
Both these are still tasting great. The Voss keg seems pretty light and might not last much longer. 
05/12/2022 esheppy
Voss is really clear now. Nice tasting and beautiful looking. 
05/19/2022 esheppy
Killed the Voss keg. (yes I was day drinking) Luckily, I have Colorado Vienna ready to take its spot. 
05/31/2022 esheppy
Killed the Irish keg. Great beer while it lasted. I'm sure I'll brew this recipe again. Need to brew Eric's Pale soon. 

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